Ghost Soldiers

  • by Hampton Sides
  • Narrated by James Naughton
  • 6 hrs and 1 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

On January 28, 1945, 121 hand-selected troops from the elite US Army 6th Ranger Battalion slipped behind enemy lines in the Philippines. Their mission: March thirty miles in an attempt to rescue more than 500 American and British POWs who had spent three years in a surreally hellish camp near the city of Cabanatuan. The prisoners included the last survivors of the Bataan Death March left in the camp, and their extraordinary will to live might soon count for nothing - elsewhere in the Philippines, the Japanese Army had already executed American prisoners as it retreated from the advancing US Army. As the Rangers stealthily moved through enemy-occupied territory, they learned that Cabanatuan had become a major transshipment point for the Japanese retreat, and instead of facing the few dozen prison guards, they could possibly confront as many as 8,000 battle-hardened enemy troops.Hampton Sides' vivid minute-by-minute narration of the raid and his chronicle of the prisoners' wrenching experiences are masterful. But Ghost Soldiers is far more than a thrilling saga. Hampton Sides explores the mystery of human behavior under extreme duress - the resilience of the prisoners, who defied the Japanese authorities even as they endured unspeakable tortures; the violent cultural clashes with Japanese guards and soldiers steeped in the warrior ethic of Bushido; and the complex motivations of the US high command, some of whom could justly be charged with abandoning the men of Bataan in 1942.


What the Critics Say

"[It] took me on a queasy journey deep into the realm of pure evil - then rescued me in a blaze of heroics and righteous vengeance. There's grief, despair, and terror here, but there's also adventure, courage, and joy. (Erik Larson, author Isaac's Storm)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Ghost soldiers

Some books are interesting, others engrossing and other's tell stories sure to be remembered for quite some time. This book falls into all three categories. What a profoundly moving book! Excellent narration. Learned a lot about WWII at the same time!
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- Zach

Beautifully written

Why hasn't Hampton Sides written more? After hearing this book I amazed by his writing talent. His talent reminds me of Barbara Tuchman (whose books should be on!) . And what an awful ordeal these heroes had to endure. In spite of the subject, this book should have much wider appeal for its brilliant description of humanity and evil in war. I look forward to more material from this author.
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- Jesse

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-03-2001
  • Publisher: Random House Audio